A WHOLE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN: GROWING UP BLACK IN A WHITE HOUSEHOLD

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“The struggle is real.”


a home is a home

When you are child, no matter what the household you grow up in, a home is a home. But what happens when you are as child that is adopted into a house where the parents are of another ethnicity? What are some of the challenges that the kid face when growing up in the house? They don’t understand anything about their surroundings. To them, this is their parents, but they will soon realize that there is something different than others kids lives. And looking into the mirror they soon realize the difference. And that’s when the questions arise.

black in white world

As a Black kid in a White household, you are cared for and loved like their own child. The moment you step outside, you start to quickly see the world around you. And when you step out with mom and dad, then you start to see the stares. And the treatment once you start making friends and especially dating presents a whole new challenge. How do White parents sit their Black child down and explain racism to the kid? Because Black parents are ready to have that conversation, but I don’t know how many White parents even think about racism in regards to raising a child. But they have to eventually have that conversation.

internal struggle

What is going through the minds on a daily for the Black kid? What are they struggling with that makes them have a different perspective on the world? Because like every other kid that is raised by someone of their ethnicity, they are able to attach themselves to a reality most Black kids don’t. Their adoptive family is being presented a child from a group that would normally not be in their family. And they are witnessing that it is not a group where you come from, but an upbringing that makes people who they are outside the social construct of America. But I also want to know what is the detachment from other Black people that you don’t feel, that you wished you did have? Because color and our experiences to a degree connect. But growing up in a White house can make you have separate similar experiences in life.


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WHEN THEY’RE BROUGHT INTO THE WORLD: CHILDREN OF INTERRACIAL RELATIONSHIPS AND THEIR STRUGGLES

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“Yanked in both directions.”


the struggle is real

When growing up in the United States as a biracial child, you are sometimes stuck between the two worlds of the racial game. You are too White for the Black kids and two Black for the White kids. So you have to sway over time between the two groups until you become an adult and learn to have an identity for yourself. But until that point there is constant struggle after struggle. From the Black kids saying you think you’re better because you’re lighter to the White kids who know you’re of melanin because of the parent in your household.

when a nation is divided

Anytime there is strife within the country, these kids are the ones typically stuck in the middle of the argument. Because you’re growing up in the house with both parents that usually in America are reflected of the bickering in society. And I am not referring to a divide with any other group outside of Black and White in America because their history in this country does not run as deep. You almost feel like an alien in the conversation because anything you say is going to come off as taking a side. So at times, the biracial kid remains quiet and hopes no one ask for their input.

it’s more than love

When choosing a mate, you have to think about the fact that you’re bringing a child into this world that will be faced with these social hardships. You have to know be comfortable with knowing the world in which you live and the child that will come into the world. Because the world is not what you want it to be, it’s what it is. And you have to prepare your child fort the world they will be entering. And for those that think otherwise, they are truly being naive. This is the reason people don’t want to have an interracial relationship because of the crazy world their child/children are entering.


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WHEN THE HURT ENJOYS HURT: WHEN A GROUP THAT HAS BEEN HURT RELISH IN THE HURT NOW THEMSELVES

Grayscale Photo of a Woman Sleeping

“I want you to see what’s like to be me.”


my pain

Anyone that belongs to group of people who have had to endure a long history of pain must be careful. They must be careful because it’s very easy to slip into a role of being the one doling out the hate. And this happens since a lot of the times we become the people we have had to deal with especially if there is no culture to the people in pain. You adopt the nature of the ones that hurt you and it now becomes a situation where now you’re making the same excuses as the ones who hurt you just to have yourself a legs up.

it’s different

We always make excuses for why we treat individuals a certain way. But when it’s actually time to breakdown the thought process there is no clear and concise answer. We are so used to behaving in a certain manner and it not being questioned, that we are unprepared to answer questions. But what happens now that the shoe is on the other foot and you ask someone to state a clear idea as to why they feel a certain way. They can’t give you a reason, they’ll just say it’s different or you’re against them. But people will not have to conversation. And the reason being is because there is no logical explanation and an explanation would further expose the fact there isn’t one. So in a nutshell, I am saying to hurt dole out maybe not the equivalent, but aspects and find reasons to not say it is so.

blind to the issue

Believe it or not, there are people who don’t even see their own internalize disdain that has also been held for them. We dilute ourselves into thinking a lot of times that we are better than the people who hurt us. But we become bastardized versions of them and transfer the hate. That’s why there will always be this form of hate in society. People need a reason to say this group is responsible, then enough time goes by where that group is no longer in control. And then a new group becomes the oppressors and the oppressed.


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THE PARIAH PEOPLE: WHY WERE BLACK PEOPLE CHOSEN TO BE THIS PARIAH IN HISTORY

Man's Face

“Chosen, yet why?”


the history

The African American population has inhabited the United States since the original Africans were brought to America in the early 1600’s. And since then there has been consistent discrimination. But my question would be, “Why our group?” There has never been major invasions globally of African people conquering people and destroying their culture. When was the last time anyone of African descent invaded a country and robbed them of their resources? Or better yet, show the recent evidence of the African on European, or African on Asian, or African on Australian genocide. It has not happened yet we are more disliked than groups who doled out the actions throughout history.

not about “us” but about “us”

When the Americas’ was in the process of being built. Or better yet, when the land was being sought for control by Europeans from Natives, we weren’t here. What was the decision behind the groups being chosen. Were other groups taken into consideration when looking to build this new land? Well, for one, Africa and Europe are so close, especially the groups that took part in the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Another aspect of the chosen group would be who has the least ability to defend ones self. The technology was at a higher scale for that of Europeans for the time period. So being able to thwart off an enemy was more difficult for Africans. Ethnic conflicts that existed between tribes in Africa that didn’t exist in close European groups aided in the exploitation of groups of Africans. The numbers of people who were in close proximity to Europe was an advantage as well. But also, trying to use Europeans for slaves would have been impossible considering the owners were White. Difficult to establish a system where Whites are in power, subjugating Whites without a buffer group.

psychological takeover

There was one point in time where a 16 year girl could marry a 30 year old man. But that is considered statutory rape with a minor today. Yet we don’t have a special group of people who are different from the past. We don’t all of a sudden have morals now, we were just born in a time where that’s not ok. We think it’s our morale, yet when you’re born a system on this is how things work, it shapes our point of views and perspectives. So the systemic construct was this group is this way, this is how you shall feel about them. Meaning for the longest time, Black people were considered 75% people and 25% property. How do you convince an entire society that a person is only three-quarters human? You place science behind it, considering the average person is laymen and not well-educated they follow those who appear to have the extensive knowledge.

Here is where that logic fell apart, it was illegal for Black people to read. An offense that was nearly worse than escaping from a plantation. 75% human, but so much fear in letting a person read. It’s because they weren’t 75%, they were 100% and reading could make you aware of the intertwined construct. But outside the science, is the idea of the dominant learned ones in power knowing more than ourselves. We follow to a great degree what those in higher position think and feel because we “perceive” them to be better or more learned than self. Especially if the system we are living under is working. We say, “It may be wrong, but it’s working.” “So they must be doing something right.”

the control of ones likeness

I have watched countless videos of people giving their perspective on Blacks in America from outside the country. And somewhere in the video, they are asked why they feel this way. And time and time again it has always been, “It’s what we seen on television/cinema/music/etc.” So I think to myself, are we this really hated group, or is it that the world knows what is shown to them. Because close to 100% of people outside America will never come in contact with us (Black people) here in America. And since Black people in America are so communal, we rarely leave our neighborhoods. So the only insight into who were are comes through the medium of T.V. and film. Yet we are not the major exporters of our likeness globally. And that is almost an even bigger problem than issues here in America. The need to have a say in self is very important. We are the only group where another group tells the world at large who we are without the input of that group. And that is something that shall be curbed. But it must be curbed by the people themselves. And when I say people I mean Black people. It shall never be left up to White men and women to interpret us to the world, that is our job. You never look to another group for affirmation as to who you are as a person. Because your likeness will be expressed based on how I see you, not necessarily based on who you are as a group.


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FITTING IN: WHAT IT’S LIKE AS A BLACK PERSON EXISTING IN A NON BLACK ENVIRONMENT

Five Person Holding Hands Together

“Trying to feel welcome.”


new face new challenge

Growing up, I have always been one of the only African American students in my class and school. And for me, I didn’t know anything else. That was until I came back to my community. And as you get older, you’re turned on to the societal issues. And that’s when you become aware of your surroundings. Being a kid, you’re a kid with other kids. But you will always be reminded somehow of the society where you live. But hwy, why would society remind a child of something so deep at such a young age?

cultural shift

The reason for one of the discomforts is the idea that once you step into someone else’s domain, you are quickly inundated with a different way of life. Not better, just a drastic shift: the food, the music, all the way down to the infliction in the voice. So now you feel like you’re living in two worlds. For me growing up, I have always loved a certain type of dress, that no pays pays attention to in way arena that catches attention in another. So that is what I mean by living in two worlds. But, what are the up sides if any?

they know you, you know them

For me growing up in a community of Black people, but a school  of mostly White, you’re coming into a space, where you are this group’s first interaction with anyone from your community. So they are learning something about you and you are learning something about them. And learning about someone outside of yourself is the first step in understanding people you might not otherwise have a daily interaction with. You learn their likes and dislikes, but also a cultural understanding for why someone is who they are in life. But all of this is contingent on the person you’re getting to know who is able to converse with you on a deeper level of understanding.


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RECONCILIATION: WILL THE BLACK AND WHITE COMMUNITIES EVER END THE TENSION

Photo of Four Persons Uniting Hands

“Ease the tension.”


a history of tension

In the United States over the past few centuries the tensions between the White and Black population has gotten better, but still remain a focal point of discussion in America. And now with the introduction of other groups into the mix like the Hispanic and Middle Eastern community, the dynamics just became more complicated. But over the recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of racially motivated problems across the country. Yet the racial relationship between Black and White is the deepest. So how does it end? Will it ever end? Are these one of those things that just go on and on forever, just taking on different dynamics?

steps forward

We like to think that the problems are so far behind us, but they are still relevant. So what are the ways that can change people’s mind-frames on race relations? And the biggest reason why there is a sharp incline is economics. When the chips are down and the stakes high, people start to look for indicators of their economic strife. And no one likes to think that it’s themselves. So we look at our current surrounding and people that look like us, then at others that look different from us. If there is enough people who look different from us with more than we have, that is an easy target for what my problems could be linked to.

Another step in seeing the problem through is for people to actually be honest and say they harbor feelings if ill will toward others different from themselves. No one likes to think of themselves as being racist, but will openly do things that are racist. And will rationalize why it’s not racism.

a future perspective

Let’s say 1,000 years from now, when we look back in history and observe America as a nation. Will we think to ourselves, wow, people actually fought about color. It will seem so primitive. Who knows, America might not even be a country at that point. What’s interesting is that we will have video footage of today, and even the past. Which will took even more odd to a future generation. But my thing about us today is that do we even care. I don’t think people in their daily lives think about how our future descendants will perceive us. Because 1,000 years from now is so insignificant to people’s current problems.


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FORCED OUT: WHAT IS COMING OF MOSTLY BLACK NEIGHBORHOODS BECAUSE OF GENTRIFICATION

Image result for gentrification

“We’re moving out, they’re moving in.”


a harsh reality

For me growing up in a predominantly Black neighborhood, I have seen over the recent years a lot of major changes. And the most obvious shift has been the demographics of people moving in as we are moving out. The Black community has taken a shift where I was at a McDonald’s the other night and saw two teenage White girls who lived up the street. And this was deep into my Harlem community. It’s a sight that you wouldn’t have seen ten years ago. But now you are starting to see the shift. And more and more Black families are moving higher up in Manhattan. And with the shift you are noticing a lot of us moving out because of affordability not because of the ethnic move into Harlem.

we’re hurt as well

We observe the Black gentrification move, but there is a White shift in mostly White neighborhoods as well. When looking at Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, which at one point was mainly Italian families now a major Chinese American community. So you think to yourself, are these White men and women being pushed out, coming to Black areas, where we are now being pushed out. Because our communities are environments where you would never see White men and women. Now their teenage children walk around as late as midnight and 2:00 a.m. So there is a silent moving out of White community as well. But as Black people, it’s hard to focus on that aspect of another communities life hen your own community is taking on a different look.

it ain’t your color is cash

Is it about the skin color or is it about how much you got in the bank? Because living in Harlem, the families moving in are middle class white men and women, in addition to some upper middle class as well. So basically, I’m saying that even if upper middle class Black people moved into Black neighborhoods, it would force other Black people out the community. It’s just that in the case of now, the people are mostly White. But this isn’t a trend that’s stopping because the cost of living is cheaper in the Black neighborhoods.


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